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Foire aux vins: How to find bargains on high quality wine in France

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected] • 31 Mar, 2023 Updated Fri 31 Mar 2023 14:35 CEST
Foire aux vins: How to find bargains on high quality wine in France
A client looks at wine on sale in a store in Strasbourg in 2009. (Photo by PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP)

In France, spring is an ideal time to stock up on high-quality French wine, as supermarkets, cavistes, and websites alike get ready for the Foire aux vins.


For consumers, it is the perfect time to buy that expensive vintage you have had your eye on, or maybe stock up on a few special bottles.

Invented in 1973, the grocery store E.Leclerc was the one to come up with the concept of hosting seasonal wine fairs (foire aux vins). The idea was to democratise wine consumption, while simultaneously helping wine producers and sellers make space ahead of the next harvest. 


Foire aux vins occur twice a year - in the autumn and the spring, though the event in autumn tends to be larger and more involved. In recent years, almost all stores that sell wine have began taking part by offering their own mark-downs.

On average, about 54 million bottles are sold per year, with prices averaging between €5 and €20.

While foreigners might not have heard of this yearly sale before, the majority of French people take part each year. In fact, ahead of the 2020 foire aux vins, over 70 percent of French people reported that they planned to participate. 

Here are some tips so you can get the best deals:

Deciding where to go - There are different pros and cons to purchasing your wine online or in a supermarket or caviste

The benefit to buying online is that you can do your research at the same time and order directly to your home, which might be useful if you are buying in bulk. However, what you gain in accessibility you lose in personal contact.

The advantage to dedicated wine shops is staff-members' helpful advice and knowledge. They can help you find the right wine that fits your tastes, as well as provide tips for pairing. For supermarkets, you benefit from a wider array of options, though less specialised advice. 

Know the dates - each supermarket and wine cave chooses their own dates for their autumn and spring wine sales. Most start either in early or mid March for the spring foire aux vins, and run for about three to four weeks, typically. Some, however, do not start until April. 


Le Journal des Femmes published the dates for 2023:

In-person stores 

  • Aldi: from March 28 until stocks run out.
  • Biocoop: from April 3rd to April 29th, 2023.
  • Carrefour Market supermarkets: from March 27 to May 14th, 2023.
  • Carrefour Hypermarkets: from March 28th to April 10th, 2023.
  • Casino hyper and supermarkets: from March 20th to April 2nd, 2023.
  • Intermarché: from May 31st to June 11th, 2023.
  • E. Leclerc: from March 21st to April 1st, 2023.
  • Magasins U: from May 3rd to 14th, 2023.

Online stores

  • Avenue des Vins: from March 27th to April 7th, 2023.
  • La Tour d'Argent: from March 13th to April 9th, 2023.
  • Twil: from April 20th to May 28th 2023.
  • Veepee: from April 6th, 2023.
  • Vin Malin : from March 1st to March 26th 2023.
  • Vinatis : from March 16th to April 6th, 2023.
  • Wineandco: from March 22nd to April 25th, 2023.

Do your homework - The phenomenon is so popular that ahead of the foire aux vins, wine reporters for major French publications, like Le Monde, take care to develop recommendation lists - complete with prices, stores, and thorough descriptions of the wines.


Before heading to your local supermarket and you have a budget in mind, you could read Le Figaro's top recommendations for this spring (in French)

If you prepare ahead of time, you can use the foire aux vins to purchase gifts, wines for special occasions, or even plan ahead and look out for vintages that will appreciate with time. However, once you are in the store, do not be afraid to ask questions. 

You can read through more advice for purchasing wine in France HERE

READ MORE: Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket


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